The standard dictionary definition for equanimity is mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, especially in a difficult situation.
In Buddhism, equanimity is one of the four sublime states of being. The Buddhist teacher, Gil Fronsdal, describes it this way.
Neither a thought nor an emotion, it is rather the steady conscious realization of reality’s transience. It is the ground for wisdom and freedom and the protector of compassion and love. While some may think of equanimity as dry neutrality or cool aloofness, mature equanimity produces a radiance and warmth of being. The Buddha described a mind filled with equanimity as “abundant, exalted, immeasurable, without hostility and without ill-will.
Sounds like a quality I’d like to develop more fully, but how?
Broadly speaking, meditation, prayer, or communing with nature can gain you temporary equanimity. The goal, though, is to bottle it so you can take with you into life’s adversity and, “Keep your head when all about you are losing theirs,” as Rudyard Kipling put it.
Buddha described seven qualities that create equanimity. These are qualities you and I can develop with or without Buddhist practice.
- Virtue or integrity
- Well-developed mind
If this topic interests you and you’re wanting a little deeper dive, I’ve outlined the seven qualities and how to achieve them here.
Have a fantastic evening, my friends! Thank you all for your support of this blog and my work.